pencils and pointless prep

"Mr. Johnson, why do we use pencils?"  Cynical Gifted Boy asks.

"It's a learning tool.  Why do we learn?"  I ask him.

"We learn to pass the test so that we can get into the honor's program in junior high so that we can pass the test to get into the honor's program in high school so that by 1901 we can pass the new SAT test so that we can get into the better university so that we can get a better job,"  Cynical Gifted Boy answers.

"What then?" I ask him.  

"I think you work hard and look forward to retirement, where you wonder what happened to your life and why no one wants to talk to you, because they are too busy passing the test to get the job to get the high pay to guarantee that they'll have a good retirement."  

What if we taught in the now rather than as a preparation for the future?  Don't get me wrong, we are always preparing for something else, but it happens by being relevant today.  I use pencils and paper, not because it is necessary for a particular job, but because it is what they need right now to learn.  

1 comment:

  1. This one actually mirrors a conversation I had with a kid, a little mini-Satre of sorts, yesterday when I was out at lunch duty and we talked about computers.